Halloween Ends is destined to divide people. While expectations were certainly all over the place after the farcical Halloween Kills of last year, Ends has that unlucky job of not just successfully rounding off the new Halloween trilogy that started back in 2018, but also the so-called ‘Strode Saga’ as a whole that began much further back in 1978. The task is massive. Is Halloween Ends up to it? While I will try my hardest to avoid spoilers, those wishing to “witness the end of evil” blind should stop reading now. That being said, I will avoid discussing major plot points.
Picking up four years after the brutal massacre covered in the first two films of David Gordon Green’s trilogy, Halloween Ends is a surprisingly introspective film that takes a far more understated approach to its themes of trauma, isolation, and “the essence of evil” than the over-the-top mayhem of Halloween Kills. Feeling far closer in tone to 2018’s Halloween, this low-key saga-closer actually takes the time to tell a coherent story rather than bathe viewers in the blood of Michael Myers’ victims. Don’t get me wrong, Halloween Ends delivers some grisly kills – but they never feel gratuitous, with the exception of one gruesome sequence involving a pair of scissors (you’ll know when you see).
On the whole, though, Halloween Ends is a surprisingly poignant and quiet film that actually seems interested in its characters. Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Allyson (Andi Matichak) continue to deliver the goods, while franchise newcomer Rohan Campbell steals the show as outcast Corey Cunningham. This guy is one to watch.
As the film comes to a quiet, cathartic close, Halloween Ends for good – and the emotion I felt was one of a surprisingly surreal poignancy. Here is the true end of the eternal battle between Laurie and Michael; good, and evil. It’s over. And I don’t see how any of the creative team behind this conclusion could have possibly done it any better. I suspect Ends will go down as the series’ Last Jedi. Totally misunderstood and viciously torn apart by the majority for trying something new, and admired by true fans.
Yes, Halloween Ends will divide audiences, because the film lacks the utter blood-and-guts carnage of Halloween Kills or the usual cat-and-mouse stalking between Michael and Laurie that has come to define the series. But this is a brave, ballsy film that delivers something different while staying true and reverential to the series’ roots. Much like the polarizing Halloween III: Season of the Witch – which is certainly an inspiration here – Halloween Ends avoids the easy route of stab-stab-stab-stab for something fresh and original. But then, after the absolute clusterf*ck that was Halloween Kills, anything would have looked better by comparison…
Halloween Ends is a powerful, chilling, and surprisingly poignant end to the Strode saga.
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